Bush's apparent acceptance of the Blair-Baker position that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central to resolving Iraq is the end of neoconservatism in the Bush administration. But the new realism is utterly unrealistic, as George Will eloquently explains today. Double-down or get out. Those remain the only real options, in my view. Increasingly, I lean toward getting out completely, and finally giving the region the civil and religious war it so obviously and deeply wants. We had our chance; and we blew it. Bush doesn't or won't get this; and it's pretty clear he has little or no grip on reality. The terrible costs of our withdrawal are primarily on his hands; but they are also on the hands of the Iraqi factions who prefer tearing each other apart to dealing with the modern world.
He may continue - forcing America into a brutal period of political civil war to save his own face. He won't save his own face - it's too late for that. And my bet is he will do nothing on the scale necessary to save Iraq. This is the consequence of re-electing a patent incompetent, who is now reduced to enforcing the policies of the man he defeated in 2004, with none of the advantages Kerry would have had. If Bush finds 50,000 to 75,000 troops, we'll know he's serious. But I suspect he isn't. He never has been, has he?